“‘Cause every once in a while
You think about if you’re gonna get yourself together
You should be happy just to be alive
And just because you just don’t feel like comin’ home
Don’t mean that you’ll never arrive”
– “Move On”
As many times as I have been told not to compare my station in life to others, I generally find it difficult to resist. Life always appears more promising when one facet of it appears to be headed down a clear path. Not just any path, but one with promise of a better future.
Lately, it seems as though my life cannot get itself together, nor can it find a promising path. My job future always seems questionable – I can not tell someone of my professional plans five months out, let alone five years out. Marriage? A family? Also seems to be in the abyss of the unknown.
I once said that I wished that when you were born, you were handed a piece of paper that clearly detailed your life plan – it would tell you what jobs you would take, who you would date and consequently marry, and how your entire life would be. I initially saw no failings in this idea – after all, you would know how everything would work out, and you wouldn’t be left feeling discouraged when life seemed awry. After all, everything would work out just fine.
The more people I proposed this idea to, the more resistance I received. What if your life path wasn’t positive? What if you were born knowing that life was not going to hand you any rewards, and it would always be negative and difficult? At least with the unknown, you can always hope for change and improvement.
What if you wanted to make a mistake? Take a job that you knew would never help your future, date a guy who you knew would break your heart? A planned life would leave no room for such dalliances – only preplanned certainty.
Having a stable job, a relationship with a future, or even being financially sound – they all sound perfect in theory. After all, it’s better to have something on the right path, than the wrong path. But what about no clear path at all?
When I become bogged down in the details of the future, I need to tell myself to focus on what’s good at the moment. Sometimes it feels like life may never come together, when the pieces fail to fit. But we should be grateful we don’t have a life plan — the uncertainty is what gives us hope and a reason to seek happiness.